13 Jul

Caprice for Strings

Written by

(Edward White)
The London Promenade Orchestra version
Analysed by Robert Walton

I first heard Caprice for Strings quite by chance in 1953 on a radio programme in New Zealand from 1YA Auckland. Because there was no back announcement, it remained unknown until I wrote to the station for information.

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29 Jun

Notes and Suggestions on a Performance of Rutter's Requiem

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I have been covering quite a wide range when writing these Notes and Suggestions essays, but I must say, I never imagined that I would be writing such an essay on this particular work.  Of course, it comes from the fact that I attended a performance of it recently at Carnegie Hall as part of the Mid-America series where it is very often presented, usually conducted by the composer himself.  And subsequently, I listened to a few performances of it on YouTube as I sometimes do when a work makes a sufficient impression on me so that I might want to partake of it further.

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28 Jun

The 39 Steps

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Jim Stokes informs us through the RFS Facebook page: "THE 39 STEPS comedy version produced by Doug Denoff used some RF music as overture music before the opening curtain."

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28 Jun

The Choirs of St Albans Cathedral - a review

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Written by Peter Burt.

JOHN RUTTER Psalmfest
The Choirs of St Albans Cathedral
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra ● Andrew Lucas
Naxos 8.573394

I imagine that a number of readers will be familiar with John Rutter’s carols and hymn tune settings. This his latest release, ...

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28 Jun

Viennese Dances - a review

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Written by Peter Burt.

JOSEPH LANNER Viennese Dances
Orchestre de Cannes cond. Wolfgang Dörner
Naxos 8.573552

Devotees of the New Year’s Day Concert from Vienna will know the name of Joseph Lanner (1801-1843). He has been claimed as ‘father of the Viennese waltz’ and was a contemporary of Johann Strauss I (1804-49), the viola player in his first quartet until they quarrelled and the latter left to form his own group.

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27 Jun

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Written by

(André Previn)
Analysed by Robert Walton

There are very few tunes that make me cry. Sometimes Mahler or Farnon unleash a mini ‘Niagara’ in me, but Previn’s utterly sublime theme of total tranquility from the 1961 film “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” has all the elements to produce a similar reaction. Even the melody is crying out to be heard! For me it evokes some of man’s finest qualities: hope, joy, kindness, unselfishness and of course love. It’s like a religious experience. Only music can truly convey such feelings. Previn possesses a natural gift to tug at your heartstrings. The old romantic!

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09 Jun

Mannequin Melody

Written by

(Clive Richardson)
Analysed by Robert Walton

As I’m sure you know, I get a great kick out of analysing light orchestral pieces, especially ones that are jolly and cheerful. Without doubt Mannequin Melody fits into that category perfectly. In fact it puts one instantly into a good mood. This Clive Richardson composition contains many of the qualities of the 1940’s Golden Era, including the presence of the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra conducted by Robert Farnon.

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08 Jun

The Last Walz - The Strauss Family and Vienna - book review

Written by

John Suchet –

THE LAST WALTZ – The Strauss Family and Vienna

Hardback  277pp   ISBN:978-1-78396-116-0

Published by Elliott and Thompson,  London,
in association with CLASSIC FM RADIO.

Price  £25.00

Having written six books about Ludwig van Beethoven, upon whom he is an acknowledged expert, John Suchet has now turned his attention to the Strauss family –  ‘dynasty’ as he describes it – and the Vienna of the nineteenth century.

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02 Jun

Classic fm - 'David Mellor's Light Music Masters'

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Coming up on Classic fm -
'David Mellor's Light Music Masters'

Saturday 4 June, 9pm

David begins his survey of Light Music with a man who helped put the genre on the map – Arthur Fiedler.

He came out of the violin section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and went on to direct the Boston Pops Orchestra for 50 seasons. The composer and the orchestra even hold the Guinness World Record for the largest single audience for a classical music concert – an incredible 400,000 people.

Tonight David will tell their story and play the music that made them so popular. Instantly recognisable and timeless pieces include I got Rhythm with Earl Wild on the piano, and Jaloussie by Jacob Garder, which went on to be the first 78 to sell a million copies.

Saturday 11 June, 9pm

In the second programme in this new series, David Mellor shines the spotlight on one of the finest Light Music composers of the 20th century: Eric Coates. Coates was recognised throughout the word for his his hummable tunes and brilliant orchestrations, both of which we’ll hear in abundance tonight. But as David promises to prove, there’s more to this English composer than his Dambusters March and London Suite. Join him to discover some surprising stories, which are guaranteed to make you hear Coates’ music in a new light.

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15 May

Tarantelle Styrienne (Debussy)

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Orchestrated by Ravel
Analysed by Robert Walton

If ever there was a musical composition that captures a perfect moment of ecstasy, it just has to be Debussy’s Tarantelle Styrienne, but you’ve got to be quick. Blink and you might miss it! It gives a whole new meaning to the so-called excitable state. And if it hadn’t been for Ravel’s brilliant 1923 arrangement we might have never heard it. It was originally an early Debussy piano piece written in 1890 while at the Paris Conservatory. He was hoping to capitalize on the French love of the exotic, but rarely gets a mention in any books about his piano works. At the time, Debussy was having difficulty putting food on the table so there was some urgency about it. We owe everything to Ravel for drawing it to our attention and indeed bringing it to life. Well, that’s not quite true. We must thank the publisher Jobert for his suggestion to get it orchestrated.

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13 May

Gershwin in Hollywood

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The John Wilson Orchestra
Warner Classics 0825646493739

75-minutes of great tunes from musicals such as ‘Girl Crazy’, ‘Funny Face’, ‘An American in Paris’, ‘Shall We Dance’, and ‘Star!’ with 17 tracks including They Can’t Take That Away From Me, Aren’t You Kind Of Glad You Did?, ‘S Wonderful,  and  For You, For  Me, For Evermore.

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30 Apr

Three English Dances

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by Roger Quilter.

For many years I have wondered why it is that whilst Roger Quilter possessed considerable talents as an orchestrator, this well-known work is almost always performed in an orchestral arrangement by Percy Eastman Fletcher.

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29 Apr

Mind If I Make Love To You

Written by

(Cole Porter)
Pete King’s arrangement analysed by Robert Walton

For many years now my Guild collection of the “Golden Age Of Light Music” has been providing me with a perfect soundtrack for afternoon tea. But more than that, it has become something of an everyday quiz for country folk, in my case living on a farm at the edge of Europe in the far west of Ireland. I try to identify the tunes, composers, arrangers and orchestras from a vast treasure trove of titles. This virtual ‘university’ of music helps to maintain the brain as well as entertain.

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29 Apr

Robert Farnon’s ‘Prelude to the Lake of the Woods

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On February 25th 2016, a performance of Robert Farnon’s  ‘Prelude to the Lake of the Woods was given in Kenora, Ontario, Canada.

Our concerts are held in Knox United Church in Kenora, Ontario. The orchestra is the Thunder Bay Symphony. Thunder Bay is 550 km east of Kenora; it is part of their mandate to perform in the smaller communities in Ontario.

We have had the orchestra perform here for over 35 years. This concert featured the composition by Robert Farnon,entitled Prelude to the Lake of the Woods, which is where Kenora is situated. The lake features 14,524 Islands and goes as far south as Minnesota in the USA.

The composition by Robert Farnon was found in the archives of the local museum.  We couldn’t find the individual parts anywhere, so we had the score transcribed for the Symphony. This was a very successful evening as it not only featured the music but outstanding photographs of the lake area.

We are not 100% sure that Robertever visited the area, however, after setting the music to the photographs we have convinced ourselves that he must have. The pictures were shown on a large 75”  TV sitting on top of the organ console that is visible in the right corner of the photo.

Len Mark
April 2016

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28 Apr

Alan Bunting 1939 - 2016

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Alan Bunting was born on 1st August 1939, in Blackminster, Worcestershire. What was destined to become a lifelong interest in music began at a very early age, and after leaving school he worked for a time in a record shop.

His military service was spent in the Royal Air Force, where he trained as a ground crew communications technician, and upon discharge he joined the BBC, initially working in Cardiff, South

Wales. By 1969, he had moved to Scotland, where he eventually became an Audio Manager for the Corporation in Glasgow.

After around thirty years’ service, he was offered an early-retirement package, and this enabled him to set-up ABCD Enterprises, to specialise in digital restoration and re-mastering of audio recordings.

The following years would see him undertake work for many record companies, particularly those which were involved in the re-issue of vintage and back-catalogue product. These include such labels as Living Era, Naxos, Must Close Saturday, Retrospective, HEP, Memory Lane, Jasmine, Cherry Red, Sackville, Spotlite and Mastermix, encompassing a wide range of musical genres.

In 2004, together with the late David Ades, Alan was instrumental in the establishment of the Golden Age of Light Music series of CDs for the Swiss-based company Guild Recordings. Although it was initially envisaged that he would be mainly involved in carrying-out the digital restorations, Alan soon brought his considerable knowledge of Light Music to bear upon the repertoire side of the series as well. As time went by, the project virtually became a ‘joint venture’ between the two men.

It is doubtful if the phenomenal success of this series could have been foreseen at the time of its inception, but to date a total of 135 discs has been published, containing well in excess of three-thousand tracks – a unique and magnificent achievement.

After the sad death of David Ades in 2015, Alan assumed overall management of the series, and it was agreed that I would assist him, writing the booklet notes and contributing to the choice of repertoire. We soon established a good working rapport, and as a result of this new collaboration, a total of seven further CDs was produced. We were in regular – frequently daily – contact, discussing new ideas and planning for future releases.

Alan owned a huge collection of recordings, largely in LP format, and was constantly on the lookout for more material. He was particularly interested in the career and music of the Canadian conductor and arranger Percy Faith, of whom he had an encyclopaedic knowledge, and was responsible for creating the much-acclaimed Percy Faith Discography, containing copious information about Faith’s enormous recorded canon.

Alan also made significant contributions to the discography of fellow-Canadian composer, arranger and conductor Robert Farnon, and was an enthusiastic member (at a distance) of the Robert Farnon Society. When the latter ceased operations in 2013, a number of former members helped me to set-up the London Light Music Meetings Group to continue the twice-yearly events, and Alan was very encouraging about the new venture, taking a great interest in its progress.

Over the years, Alan developed consummate skills in the art (and science) of audio restoration. He used a number of proprietary hardware and software systems, including the well-known CEDAR. He was always striving to improve his techniques and would often spend hours to eliminate noise, clicks, pops and blemishes from an individual track.

He came to be regarded as one of the very few top UK specialists in this field and was held in high esteem by his many friends and colleagues in the industry. When his wife Janet sadly passed away about six years ago, he threw himself back into the work he loved so much, regularly working through the night to meet deadlines.

Alan suddenly became ill just before Christmas 2015, and as his condition worsened, he was admitted to hospital at the beginning of January 2016. Although the cause of his severe infection was never fully established, he was discharged about two weeks later, even though he was still quite

unwell. Although in increasingly severe pain, he immediately resumed work, and was able to finalise the fourth-and-final volume of ‘100 Great American Light Orchestras ’ for Guild; this was one of the last tasks he undertook before he collapsed once again and was re-admitted to hospital. Sadly, his condition continued to deteriorate and he passed away on March 16th.

Because of the great geographical distance between us, Alan and I never actually met, but through emails, and particularly telephone calls, we struck-up a good friendship over several years, and discovered that we had a number of common interests in addition to our shared love of music.

We are very fortunate that Alan has left us a wonderful legacy in the form of all his audio restorations. The world of recorded music is greatly impoverished by his passing, and I’m sure that I speak for very many when I say that he will be greatly missed.

Our sincere condolences are extended to his sons David and Gareth, his daughter Jane and his grandchildren.

Tony Clayden © April 2016

Footnote: Volume 4 of ‘Great American Light Orchestras’ is scheduled to be issued later in 2016, and arrangements are in hand to continue the Guild ‘Golden Age Of Light Music’.

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26 Apr

Overtures from the British Isles, Volume 2

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Overtures from the British Isles, Volume 2
Chandos CHAN 10898
BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Rumon Gamba.

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22 Apr

Neeme Järvi conducts Ibert

Written by

Orchestre de la Suisse Romande Chandos CHSA 5168

This is I, Burt reviewing Ibert [sorry about that!] Jacques Ibert, ...

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21 Apr

Lake of the Woods - Robert Farnon and His Orchestra

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Robert Farnon wrote this piece about our beautiful 'Lake of the Woods' in the early fifties. This video features my photos taken mostly of the northern portion of Lake of the Woods.

Wayne Kelso

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16 Apr

Secret Love

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When I first came to England from New Zealand in 1957 with my family, one thing I was determined to do was to meet my idol of music, Robert Farnon. But it wasn’t as easy as I had imagined. As time went by, for one reason or another, it was becoming increasingly obvious that I might miss him. Undeterred by this possibility, I then decided to take the bull by the horns and just present myself at his Gerrard’s Cross home. Nervously knocking on the door and not knowing what to expect, suddenly he appeared looking just like the photograph he had originally sent me. I needn’t have worried though because after an extremely warm welcome I was invited in and given a signed copy of his LP “Pictures in the Fire”. Mission accomplished!

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05 Apr

Dance Of An Ostracised Imp

Written by

(Frederic Curzon)
Analysed by Robert Walton

It was my good friend composer and arranger Cyril Watters who first extolled the virtues of composer Frederic Curzon to me. Certainly there’s absolutely no doubt he was a superb craftsman. As a child I was already aware of his work especially in connection with the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra. Quite clearly though Curzon also had a flare for unusual titles like the eye-catching and indeed ear-catching Dance Of An Ostracised Imp written in 1940. It must have been bad enough being an imp without being ostracised as well, but somehow the composer managed to cleverly encapsulate this unwelcome mischievous child, elf or demon. So with a little help from Curzon, let’s try and get under the skin of an imp and find out what makes it so sociably unacceptable.

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05 Apr

Moira Ades - Tribute

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David and Moira Ades

Moira Ades  1936 – 2015

Moira hailed from Forest Gate, London, the first of two children born to Andrew and Ellen Stevenson. During World War Two, the children and their mother evacuated to Dorset,  where Moira grew to love the countryside. At the end of  hostilities, the family was reunited  and they moved to Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. Moira attended the local Junior and High Schools and the age of nine, she first met her future husband, David Ades.

Throughout her life, Moira was seriously afflicted with chronic asthma, and her education was badly disrupted as a result of this condition. Upon leaving school, and after several different jobs, she ultimately became a book-keeper for her father, continuing in this role until her marriage to David in 1967. Around this time, David gained a promotion within Midland Bank, which necessitated a re-location to Northamptonshire, and it was there in 1968 that their only child – a daughter, Fenella – was born.

Moira believed that some of the most beautiful things in life came from nature. She loved sunsets, flowers, trees and animals. She also had an artistic eye, and inherited a love of antiques from her
father, building up her collection as-and-when funds permitted. Along with David, she enjoyed good food and  wine, and particularly in later years, travelling.

The family moved several times ‘with the job’ and eventually settled in Nottingham. In 1989, David was able to secure a very generous retirement package, and they decided to live in the South-West, which Moira remembered fondly from her childhood. Their beautiful new home and garden in Seavington St. Michael,  Somerset, occasionally played host to members of the Robert Farnon Society for ‘extra’ meetings  during  the summer.

Moira soon became involved with local voluntary work, including helping to raise funds for a new Village Hall.  She was always very supportive of David, both in his professional life and in his ‘second career’ after  retirement, when he ran the RFS and also acted as consultant for many CD projects, including of course his stewardship of the ‘Golden Age Of Light Music’ series for Guild Records.

For many years, Moira accompanied David to the London Meetings of the Society, where she could usually be found  helping out ‘on the door’. She was always very welcoming,  especially to those attending for the first time, and her wonderful smile and cheerful disposition will be remembered with much  affection by many.    

Although in declining  health herself, Moira continued to be a tower of strength for David as his own illness progressed through to its unfortunate final stages.  After his passing, she spent a great deal of time with her daughter’s family, and was looking forward to moving into a specially constructed annexe attached to their house.

As previously reported, Moira was admitted to hospital in mid-December 2015 for a surgical procedure. Whilst this initially appeared to be successful, she then developed post-operative complications which her medical team were unable to resolve, and she sadly passed away on December 27th.

A  loving and caring wife, mother and grandmother, Moira also became a good friend to many of us in the Robert Farnon Society; her passing, especially so soon after David’s, has left a huge void and she will be greatly missed. Once again, our sincere condolences are extended to Fenella and her husband  Barry – and her two grandsons James and William.

©Tony Clayden
    April 2015

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18 Mar

Alan Bunting dies

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It is with the deepest regret and profound sadness that we have to report the death of Alan Bunting on Wednesday March 16th 2016, after a short illness.

Alan was one of only a handful of premier experts in the field of digital recording restoration in the UK, and over the years carried out a great deal of such work, especially for many record companies active in the field of reissues.

Together with the late David Ades, Alan was instrumental in the establishment of the Golden Age Of Light Music series of CDs for the Swiss Company Guild Records, contributing to both the technical and repertoire aspects of what would become a phenomenally successful project.

After David’s death in 2015, Alan assumed responsibility for the overall management of the series and several more CDs were produced.  At the time of his death, further titles were under discussion although only one, Great American Light Orchestras Vol. 4, has been fully completed, and will be released in mid-2016.

A fuller tribute to Alan will follow in due course, but in the meantime sincerest condolences are extended to his son, daughter and grandchildren.

Tony Clayden
March 2016

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02 Mar

Confetti

Written by

CONFETTI
(Bronislaw Kaper)
Analysed by Robert Walton

Bronislaw Kaper had much in common with Victor Young. Firstly they were both Polish, could turn their hand to any sort of music, composed many film scores and as songwriters wrote some important popular standards. Three of Young’s were Stella by Starlight, My Foolish Heart and When I Fall in Love , while Kaper’s two major contributions were On Green Dolphin Street and Invitation.

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26 Feb

Notes and Suggestions for a Performance of Camarata's Rumbalero

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An article by William Zucker

For those following my Notes and Suggestions on Performance series dealing mainly with works in the serious repertoire with an inclusion of a few light music selections, they may well be forgiven for wondering what exactly I'm pursuing in this essay - supposedly presuming that I'm referring to some pop number in the Latin manner of a sort such as might come from the hands of perhaps Xavier Cugat, Perez Prado, and the like.

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02 Feb

Miloš: Blackbird – The Beatles Album

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MILOŠ: BLACKBIRD – The Beatles Album
Mercury Classics 482310

For his fourth album Miloš Karadaglić, the 32-year-old award-winning classical guitarist from Montenegro, gives us his distinctive “take” on 15 songs written by the Beatles [John Lennon & Paul McCartney and George Harrison] – music that seems to appeal to all ages – and a very good album it is, too.  It was recorded in the famous Studio 2 at Abbey Road, London with some of the microphones used by the original Fab Four.

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29 Jan

Copland: Orchestral Works 1

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COPLAND : Orchestral Works 1 - Ballets BBC Philharmonic / John Wilson Chandos CHSA 5164
Rerviewed by Peter Burt

Aaron Copland (1900-90) was probably America’s greatest native-born composer.

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29 Jan

Strolling Home

Written by

STROLLING HOME
(Farnon)
Analysed by Robert Walton

It was in 1959 that the original Gang Show producer Ralph Reader wrote Strollin’, the song most associated with Bud Flanagan. Two years later in 1961 Robert Farnon composed the mood music equivalent, Strolling Home.

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04 Jan

Wagon Lit

Written by

WAGON LIT
(Sidney Torch)
Analysed by Robert Walton

There can’t be many arrangements which are defined by a constant brass interjection, but that’s the very thing that attracted me to Wagon Lit . It’s a typical Torch touch on which the whole composition rests and is perfectly in keeping with his strict policy of crispness. This syncopated feature is first heard just after the third beat of the opening bar of the tune; in fact the second quaver of the third beat. Yes, I know it’s an unlikely component of a chart to choose, but this accentuation, part and parcel of the rhythm of a train, is somehow crying out to be noticed. You may have spotted the composition is slightly more subdued than most instrumental train records, perhaps giving consideration to the passengers in the sleeping compartment of this European railroad car!

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04 Jan

Moira Ades, R.I.P.

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It is with profound sadness that we report the death of Moira Ades, wife of the late David Ades, on 27th December 2015.

Moira was admitted to hospital in mid-December to undergo an emergency surgical procedure. Whilst initially this appeared to have been successful, she then developed post-operative complications, which unfortunately her doctors were unable to resolve.

It is hoped to publish a fuller tribute to Moira in due course.

Our sincere condolences are extended to her daughter Fenella, her two grandsons James and William, and her son-in-law Barry.

Tony Clayden
30 / 12 / 15

David and Moira Ades
David and Moira Ades
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16 Dec

CD REVIEW ‘BEGUINE AND BUGATTI STEP’- THE ASPIDISTRA DRAWING ROOM ORCHESTRA

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Tony  Clayden has written a CD review of the album.

Read it here...

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11 Nov

New Vocalion Catalogue

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An exciting selection of new CDs will be available in time for Christmas and include Easy Listening, Light, Latin, Film Soundtracks/LibraryMusic, Jazz/Soul and Dance Bands/Big Bands.

Artistes  featured  include Henry Mancini, Floyd Cramer, Paul Mauriat, Caterina Valente, Cleo Laine, Neal Hefti, John Dankworth,  Victor Silvester, Ted Heath, Jack Hylton and Geraldo.

The listings also include a number of back catalogue re-issues, featuring, among others, Roy Fox, Carroll Gibbons, Henry Hall, Ray Noble, Ambrose, Ted Heath and the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra.

In addition, there is a huge range of existing titles all still available.

The catalogue can be obtained from Vocalion - or by telephone 01923 803 001. The company operates a mail-order service – their postal address is PO Box 609  Watford WD18 7YA England.

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29 Oct

Notes and Suggestions on a Performance of Leroy Anderson's SleighRide

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An article by William Zucker

At this time of the year, the air waves are bombarded with broadcasts of Christmas carols almost non-stop, which of course we have come to expect as part of the holiday season. With some of this material or at least manner of presentation in some cases, the material is of such a quality that one could mildly regret that we do not get to hear some of it at other times of the year. The symbolic connotations, of course, is the raison d' etre for what we are hearing, not so much the actual material.

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27 Oct

Nooks and Crannies in the Field of Light Music

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An article by William Zucker

In the course over the years of collecting recordings of light music, reading books on the subject, or looking at YouTube postings, I became aware of the fact that exactly as with serious music, there are segments of this repertoire that remain unknown even to interested specialists, for which there are historically many reasons.  Before going into these, I have to first point out that all forms of music, whether light or serious, are received by their recipients in widely divergent manners.

Some listen to these selections of whatever genre very attentively, carefully noting the various features and details along the way while others simply submerge themselves in a wash of sound without attending any further to the source, and be it noted, this latter method of reception, for want of a better word, may occur in more serious forms of music as well, particularly with the more impressionistic variety, exemplified by such composers as Debussy and Delius but not  necessarily limited to those.

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26 Oct

Chris Money Saturday afternoon slot on Kingston Hospital Radio

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London Light Music meeting Group member Chris Money has a Saturday afternoon slot on Kingston Hospital Radio during which he plays varied selections of Light Music.

The programme is streamed live online and you can listen in between 3pm and 5pm every Saturday afternoon.

To access the programme use this link:

http://aries.streaming.zfast.co.uk:2199/start/khronline Click on the magazine cover to read the full magazine and click here to access the Kingston Hospital Radio website

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25 Oct

Notes and Suggestions on a Performance of Leroy Anderson's Pennywhistle Song

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An article by William Zucker.

As this is the height of the summer season we are into at this writing, I prefer to deal with lighter forms of music, assuredly of the same quality as the best in the more serious field.

I have stated on many an occasion that this is a genre that is insufficiently appreciated, and it should be realized that there will be found in this area pieces of fully the same quality as in some of the more profound types.  In addition, it is a field that has largely fallen by the wayside, regrettably so, as the audiences for such have been reduced to a relatively small group of listeners and record collectors who have a considerable interest in this type of music, which frankly deserves the same degree of respect.

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23 Oct

OFFENBACH : ORCHESTRAL WORKS

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OFFENBACH : ORCHESTRAL WORKS

Orchestre de la Suisse Romande / Neeme Järví

Chandos CHSA 5160

Another excellent release at the lighter end of the classical spectrum from this label.

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18 Oct

London Light Music Meetings Group - October 11th 2015

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Report on the Autumn 2015 meeting of the London Light Music Meetings Group at the Lancaster Hall Hotel London W2

Report on the Autumn 2015 meeting of the London Light Music Meetings Group at the Lancaster Hall Hotel London W2

It was Sunday 11th October and time for another get-together of the LLMMG - our fourth. About sixty people attended, and we were pleased to welcome a number of members of the Light Music Society - no doubt wishing to give support to their Chairman, Gavin Sutherland, who was our special guest for the afternoon.

Tony Clayden welcomed everyone to the meeting, opening with a recording of the McHugh-Dubin composition South American Way,from a series of recordings which Bob Farnon made for ENSA towards the end of WW2. This was taken from one of several CDs which the late David Ades generously made available to the LLMMG for our first meeting in May 2014.

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21 Sep

CD REVIEW GLAZUNOV: VIOLIN CONCERTO IN A MINOR

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SIBELIUS: SIX HUMOREQUES FOR VIOLIN AND ORCHESTRA
DVORAK: VIOLIN CONCERTO IN A MINOR
Efi Christodoulou violin
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
John Carewe conductor
SOMM RECORDINGS (UK) SOMMCD 0153

The ‘big four’ concertos – by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Bruch – have tended to dominate the World of the Violin Concerto, but there are very many other fine examples of the genre, ranging from the Baroque period of Bach and Vivaldi, via Mozart and Paganini, to Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and Shostakovich. The two compositions presented here are probably less well-known than some of their contemporaries, so this new CD is a welcome addition to the catalogue...

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05 Sep

A FESTIVAL OF FUČÍK

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A FESTIVAL OF FUČÍK

Royal Scottish National Orchestra cond. Neeme Järvi

Chandos CHSA 5158

For someone who in his time was considered to be the Bohemian Sousa [American “March King”], it is surprising that Julius Ernst Wilhelm Fučík [1872-1916] does not rate a line in a quartet of music reference books on my shelves.  But he must not be thought of as just a band composer/conductor.  He first studied the violin, and then switched to the bassoon, and occasionally percussion and timpani. Later he joined the composition class of his fellow Czech, Antonin Dvorak.  On this well-filled disc of almost 80 minutes duration the 22 tracks include concert overtures and concert waltzes as well as marches; just a “taster” of the more than 400 polkas, marches and waltzes Fučík wrote. His two best-known works are Entry of the Gladiators, forever associated by oldies with circus performers, and The Florentiner March. Other titles here include Uncle Teddy, Danube Legends, The Merry Blacksmiths, Children of the Regiment, Little Ballerinas, Under the Admirals Flag, and The Old Grumbler, a toothsome comic polka featuring the RSNO’s bassoonist David Hubbard. The man wielding the baton so effectively is the head of an Estonian musical dynasty with nearly 500 recordings to his name. If you are looking for good tunes well-played they are here a-plenty, all in the celebrated Chandos sound. Peter Burt

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14 Jun

Composer Ernest Tomlinson has died aged 90

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ernest tomlinsonEnglish light music composer Ernest Tomlinson, known for orchestral pieces including An English Overture, Little Serenade, Cantilena and Woodicock, has died aged 90.

Tomlinson was Chairman of the Light Music Society from 1966 to 2009 and subsequently President.

'Ernest Tomlinson will be warmly remembered as long as people enjoy listening to melodic music,' said soprano and broadcaster Catherine Bott. 'Light music is all about melody and enjoyment, always beautifully crafted and full of colour. Ernest was among the very best of British light music composers, his exceptional technical skills allied to a rare gift for melody.'

An obituary will follow in due course.

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01 Jun

Felix Mendelsohn – Overtures

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The Fair Melusine op.32 / A Midsummer Night’s Dream op.21 / Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage op.27 / Overture for Wind Instruments op.24 / Trumpet Overture op.101 / Ruy Blas op.95. / The Hebrides op.26 [Fingal’s Cave].

London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado

Deutche Grammophon 423 104 - 2

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21 May

London Light Music Meetings Group - May 10th 2015

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The third bi-annual meeting of the London Light Music Meetings Group took place on a warm, sunny day, the 75th anniversary of VE day, on which all manner of other attractions were taking place in London, but a substantial number of people chose to enjoy the pleasures of Light Music at the Lancaster Hall Hotel and also to meet, chat and have the chance to purchase a wide range of CDs.

After opening – appropriately – with Eric Coates' Dambusters’ March in a robust performance conducted by Sir Adrian Boult, Tony Clayden introduced an old friend of the Robert Farnon Society, Albert Killman – who presented a tribute to the late David Ades, whose passing in February has greatly saddened all who knew him.

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13 May

Notes on a Possible Performance of Four Leroy Anderson Musical Comedy Medleys (South Pacific, Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me Kate, Brigadoon)

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An article by William Zucker.

In this essay, I am dealing with four musical comedy medleys that were arranged by Leroy Anderson as staff arranger for Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra. This aggregate recorded these settings during the early 50s, and though these were generally available in this form for some time, they have remained in relative obscurity. It is a shame, because these settings are of outstanding quality in their own right.

A conductor of a summer band series who was situated at the Manhattan School of Music for some time, Mr. David Simon, was familiar with the many musical comedy medleys of Robert Russell Bennett, outstanding in themselves, as well as numerous Leroy Anderson selections, and regularly conducted works from both categories. He was very surprised when I told him about the Leroy Anderson arrangements of these medleys; I urged him to sample them and possibly conduct them, with the words, "They really are very good," and his answer, in a way a tribute, as seemingly knowing what to expect. "I guess they would be." I don't at this point know how successful he was in tracking these down, or whether they remained at the time under any copyright protection or any ownership rights by the Boston Pops Orchestra or Arthur Fiedler, but either way, they should be clearly better known than they have been all these years, and perhaps for very unexpected reasons.

Read the article here...

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05 May

Notes on a Possible Performance of Two Robert Farnon Selections, Consisting of Poodle Parade and Pictures in the Fire

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An article by William Zucker.

Again I turn my attention to some outstanding items in the field of light music, an area that unfortunately has been either neglected or else subject to a degree of condescension.

One might understand better my own stand in this matter when I state that in all genres of music, there is that which may be described as good or on the other hand inferior. In this case, I make the distinction between these two by stating that in the first case the quality, in a considered opinion, would be that where a lover of serious music would still take a certain delight in. On the other hand, that belonging to the second group could be described as akin to wallpaper or background music, and necessitating no further attention, except to say that admittedly opinions will differ as to just where this line of distinction should be drawn, as we all hear various musical works in our own manner, listen in regard to our own preoccupations, and most important, form our own images absolutely regardless of what the composer's original inspiration might have been or of any coincidental biographical occurrences.

Read the article here...

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05 May

Notes on a Possible Performance of two Leroy Anderson selections, consisting of the Richard Rodgers Waltz Medley (1- Lover, 2- Falling in Love with Love, 3- Oh, What a Beautiful Morning, 4- It's a Grand Night for Singing), and Song of the Bells.

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An article by William Zucker.

I'm sure my readers who regularly consult my notes on the many symphonic works and other staples of the classical repertoire will be absolutely flabbergasted upon discovering what I have now chosen to turn my attention to.

The fact does remain, however, that I will not turn my attention to any piece of music in this manner unless I see some genuine merit that I feel obligated to point out or at least acquaint my readers with. For the fact remains that in all genres of music, form the very serious to the lighter varieties, usually termed "For Easy Listening" (an unfortunately far too all-encompassing term); for all genres of music, there is what can be described as good and bad or rather inferior. I make no apologies for my choices. If a piece of music has communicated itself to me in some way, I like to see if I can share my experience with others.

Read the article here...

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29 Apr

The King of Light Music

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Eric CoatesOn BBC iPlayer:- Alasdair Molloy explores the career of Eric Coates.

Although best known for his signature tune to Desert Island Discs and The Dambusters March, Coates's orchestral music is coming back to the concert hall.

Alasdair profiles a man who had to wear shirt, tie and tweed jacket and light up a cigarette before he could sit down and compose, as well as a man keen on photography, fast cars and the Charleston.

Available for the next few days on BBC iPlayer

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19 Apr

Accompanying Gracie

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 View large cover Accompanying GracieThe Life, Times and Music of Harry Parr Davies (1914-1955)

Andrew Everett has written a book about composer and songwriter Harry Parr Davies.

It is available in two formats, either as an e-book at £2.95, or as a paperback at £12.95 plus postage from publishers Authorhouse. However, should anybody like a signed copy, Andrew is happy to supply one for £12 post free.

Furthermore, if of interest, he can also provide a companion to the book, a Powerpoint Presentation with music on CDs.  Andrew can be contacted on 01913730262.

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19 Apr

And The Bridge is Love - English Music for Strings

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English Chamber Orchestra /
Julian Lloyd Webber, Cello and Conductor
Naxos 8.573250

Review by Peter Burt, read it here...

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19 Apr

Cole Porter in Hollywood The John Wilson Orchestra

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Warner Classics 2564627680

Review by Peter Burt, read it here...

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14 Apr

Classic FM Hall of Fame

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Iain Sutherland has announced that six of his recordings which are regularly featured on the Classic FM playlist  were voted by listeners into the list of top 300 titles in the 2015 CLASSIC FM HALL OF FAME.  They are:-

48. SCHINDLER'S LIST -- JOHN WILLIAMS  B000026BIG
109. GREENSLEEVES -- R. VAUGHAN-WILLIAMS SOMMCD 0117
128. ELIZABETHAN SERENADE -- RONALD BINGE SOMMCD 0117
149. ENGLISH FOLK SONG SUITE -- R. VAUGHAN-WILLIAMS  ALC 1192
252. WALKING THE DOG -- GEORGE GERSHWIN  ALC 1206
270. THE WATERMILL -- RONALD BINGE  ALC 1192

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14 Apr

CD review – Guild GLCD 5225 – More Gems from the 1930s

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This is a cracking collection of light music of the ‘30s, mainly from the continent – and if you like that era’s melodies, then you'll lap up these twenty-two tracks !

More information here...

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01 Apr

Composer and arranger Roy Douglas dies

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The composer and arranger Roy Douglas died on March 23rd 2015, at the great age of 107. Almost totally self-taught, he worked extensively with Ralph Vaughan Williams and William Walton. He is probably best known for his collaboration with Richard Addinsell, especially on the Warsaw Concerto, (written for the WWII film "Dangerous Moonlight"), in the composition of which he almost certainly played the greater part. He only received £100 for his efforts - whilst Addinsell reputedly made millions - and he never even received 'proper' recognition for his indispensable contribution to that work.

His reputation, and fortunately his finances, fared much better as a result of his re-orchestration, in  1936, of Frederic Chopin's music for the ballet "Les Sylphides". For this opus he was fully credited and he continued to  receive a substantial royalty income for the rest of his life.  

Tony Clayden

March 2015

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13 Mar

Light Music afternoon at the British Vintage Wireless and Television Museum

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An Afternoon of Light Music (recordings) will be presented at The British Vintage Wireless and Television Museum on Saturday afternoon

28th March 2015 at 12.30pm

Presentation by Brian Reynolds and Chris Money

The cost is £10 per person
and a light lunch will be provided

The
British Vintage Wireless and Television Museum,
23 Rosendale Road, West Dulwich,
London SE21 8DS

Please telephone in advance to make a booking
Please call Eileen on
020- 8670 3667

All proceeds to the Museum Trust.
Registered Charity No 1111516

Light Music afternoon at the British Vintage Wireless and Television Museum

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11 Mar

Next meeting London Light Music Meetings Group on Sunday 10th May

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The next meeting of The London Light Music Meetings Group, to be held on Sunday 10th May, will include a performance from Simply Saxes and a tribute to David Ades. Full details of the event can be found here:

London Light Music Meetings Group - May 2015 Meeting
London Light Music Meetings Group - May 2015 Meeting

David Ades
David Ades 1938 - 2015

If you have any particular requests for recordings or for items for future meetings, please contact Tony Clayden. His e-mail and telephone number are shown on the flyer above.

The LLMMG Autumn meeting is scheduled for Sunday 11th October 2015 when guest speaker will be Gavin Sutherland, Chairman of The Light Music Society.

www.londonlightmusic.org.uk

 

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07 Mar

http://www.family-announcements.co.uk/westerngazette/view/3709376/ades

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02 Mar

Report on the second meeting of the London Light Music Group, October 12th 2014

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02 Mar

Report on the inaugural meeting of the London Light Music Group May 11th 2014

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28 Feb

Tribute to David Ades from John Wilson

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26 Feb

David Clive Ades (1938 - 2015)

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Tony Clayden has written a tribute to David Ades

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24 Feb

David Ades - a tribute by William Zucker

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William Zucker has posted a tribute to David Ades

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24 Feb

David Ades: a Tribute

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Radio Six International will be paying tribute to David at 7 p.m. UK time on 24th February. The programme will be repeated on various occasions afterwards. The schedule can be found here: http://www.radiosix.com/schedule.html

"Tony Currie introduces a tribute to the broadcaster and musicologist who died on Saturday. With contributions from Alan Bunting and Gavin Sutherland. Radio Six International Syndication (Broadcast on Tuesday)Also on 88.2MHz FM in New Zealand."

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22 Feb

David Ades dies aged 76

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It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Robert Farnon Society organiser, David Ades. David died on Saturday 21st February, at the age of 76, after suffering from ill-health for some time. Our sincere condolences to his family.

David was Secretary and Treasurer of The Robert Farnon Society from 1962 until December 2013. For much of the time he also edited the society’s magazine Journal Into Melody.

A fuller tribute to David has been posted in our JIM section.

David Ades with Robert Farnon in 1997
David Ades with Robert Farnon in 1997

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12 Feb

John Fox 1924 - 2015

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We regret to announce the death of John Fox (b. 1924) on February 10th 2015.

John was a multi-talented arranger, composer and conductor and worked for many years in that capacity with the BBC Radio Orchestra. In addition, he wrote for TV and Film, and his particular interest in in vocal music led him to form the John Fox Singers.

A full obituary will follow in due course.

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06 Jan

Gerald Crossman 1920 - 2014

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We regret to report the death, on December 22 Gerald Crossman ­ distinguished accordionist, bandleader and light music composer, at the age of 94. He was particularly known to radio listeners in the 1950s and 1960s, directing his Gerald Crossman Players, which gave hundreds of broadcasts on the Light Programme and Home Service of the BBC. These included 123 editions of 'Music While You Work.' His signature tune was' A Night in Montmartre', one of over 100 pieces of light music which he composed during his long career. He also played regularly for many other Broadcasting Orchestra leaders of the day, such as Louis Voss, Ralph Elman, Sidney Davey, Arthur Anton, Lionel Falkman, Marcel Gardner and George Scott-Wood, to name but a few! I was privileged to know him for many years. He was real gentleman and one of those rare people who never had a bad word to say about anyone.

A full account of his life and work can be found on Brian Reynolds’ site ‘MASTERS OF MELODY’

Brian Reynolds – January 2015

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17 Dec

Differing Versions of the Same Set Light Music Selections

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William Zucker has submitted a new article.

We are all familiar with the fact that different arrangers, when they endeavor to create a setting for a well known song or ballad, can produce results sufficiently different from one another as to properly be considered as individual and distinct compositions.  These bear virtually no comparison with one another, and forming a preference is a matter of individual taste, although, as sometimes will occur, one might be sufficiently impressed with such multiple settings as to be unable to form a preference and properly say which one considers better.

Read entire article...

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15 Dec

Malcolm Powell - obituary

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It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of Malcolm Powell on December 10th 2014, at the age of 83.

Malcolm was an enthusiastic supporter of the LLMMG when it was set up, following the cessation of the Robert Farnon Society’s meetings in 2013. He had been a very early member of the RFS, joining soon after it was established in 1956, (originally as the Robert Farnon Appreciation Society), and served continuously on the main organising committee from the time of the latter’s inception.

A Professional Photographer by trade, Malcolm took hundreds, indeed probably thousands, of pictures at RFS meetings over the years and these regularly appeared in Journal Into Melody. He was able to be present at the inaugural meeting of our new Group in May 2014 and once again captured the event ‘on camera’ for posterity.

He was a lifelong collector of recorded music, and was very knowledgeable on the subjects of light music, dance bands etc. His huge library of 78s, LPs and CDs numbered somewhere between forty and seventy thousand items, and he was a major contributor of material to the GUILD Golden Age Of Light Music series of CDs, alongside David Ades and Alan Bunting.

Although Malcolm had suffered from a long-standing severe heart condition, he continued to host a regular music programme on Meridian Radio, the local community station broadcasting in his home town of East Grinstead, Sussex. He was one of the founders of Radio Queen Vic at the famous Royal Victoria Hospital in that town, and for many years presented programmes on the station.

Malcolm was a real gentleman, always willing to assist with arrangements at the meetings, or in any other way he could in connection with the running of the RFS. He will be sorely missed.

We extend our sincere condolences to his wife Doreen and her family.

Tony Clayden 13/12/14.

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09 Dec

Listening to Light Music online

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An article by William Zucker

Over this past summer, since the JIM ceased publication, I have discovered on line another site where one might partake of all varieties of music - serious, light, and popular - namely, X-Box Music, where I was enabled to listen to many examples of light music - familiar and unfamiliar - that at the time were not available for listening on more traditional sites, such as YouTube.

Read more...

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02 Aug

BOOK REVIEW - ‘ THOSE WERE THE DAYS With Harry Davidson and his Orchestra‘

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Author : David Corbett (2013)
Publisher: YouCaxton Publications - ISBN 978-1-909644-12-0

Read the article here

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21 Nov

The latest Guild Light Music CDs

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The incredibly successful series of "Golden Age of Light Music" CDs produced by Guild Music has already passed the magical figure of 100, but the series still continues. These are the latest releases:

Guild Light Music CDs are sold by all good retailers, and they are distributed in many countries of the world. If you have difficulty in finding them, they are readily available from the major internet mail order sites such as Amazon.

 
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28 Sep

The latest Guild Light Music CDs

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The incredibly successful series of "Golden Age of Light Music" CDs produced by Guild Music has already passed the magical figure of 100, but the series still continues. These are the latest releases:

Guild Light Music CDs are sold by all good retailers, and they are distributed in many countries of the world. If you have difficulty in finding them, they are readily available from the major internet mail order sites such as Amazon.

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01 Sep

New CD review: TEAM SPIRIT Invicta Concert Band plays the music of Brian Reynolds

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TEAM SPIRIT Invicta Concert Band plays the music of Brian Reynolds Conductor – Jim Harrison 25 tracks incl. Team Spirit; Mediterranean Honeymoon; Sweetcorn; Black and White Tango; Carnival in Caracas; Elizabethan Tapestry; Clarinade; Seven Senoritas; Southern Serenade; Tarantella; Swing into Summer … CD1 [77:58]

By Peter Burt

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Additional Info

26 Jul

The latest Guild Light Music CDs

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The incredibly successful series of "Golden Age of Light Music" CDs produced by Guild Music has already passed the magical figure of 100, but the series still continues. These are the latest releases:

Guild Light Music CDs are sold by all good retailers, and they are distributed in many countries of the world. If you have difficulty in finding them, they are readily available from the major internet mail order sites such as Amazon.

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01 Jul

New Zealand Film Music Bulletin's producer Colin Adamson dies

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RFS members & others in many countries may recall an excellent publication of the 1980s & 90s, ‘New Zealand Film Music Bulletin’ produced by Colin Adamson.  In a period before widespread internet it was a great source of information about who was composing what, new soundtrack releases, & profiles of the top composers of the day.

Sadly, Colin passed away at his home in New Zealand on 12 June after a long illness. He lived in my city & we had known each other since teen years in the late 1950s. His love of Bob’s music & knowledge of light orchestral & film music was encyclopaedic & we shared many happy hours just listening.

Greatly missed.

Peter Richardson
Email

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24 May

The latest Guild Light Music CDs

Written by

The incredibly successful series of "Golden Age of Light Music" CDs produced by Guild Music has already passed the magical figure of 100, but the series still continues. These are the latest releases:

Guild Light Music CDs are sold by all good retailers, and they are distributed in many countries of the world. If you have difficulty in finding them, they are readily available from the major internet mail order sites such as Amazon.

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About Geoff 123
Geoff Leonard was born in Bristol. He spent much of his working career in banking but became an independent record producer in the early nineties, specialising in the works of John Barry and British TV theme compilations.
He also wrote liner notes for many soundtrack albums, including those by John Barry, Roy Budd, Ron Grainer, Maurice Jarre and Johnny Harris. He co-wrote two biographies of John Barry in 1998 and 2008, and is currently working on a biography of singer, actor, producer Adam Faith.
He joined the Internet Movie Data-base (www.imdb.com) as a data-manager in 2001 and looked after biographies, composers and the music-department, amongst other tasks. He retired after nine years loyal service in order to continue writing.